Childhood and Christianity from Paul to the Council of Chalcedon.
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Classics
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Currie, S. (1993). Childhood and Christianity from Paul to the Council of Chalcedon. (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11576
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This thesis is a study of the interaction between children and the rituals practices of antique Christianity. The thesis is framed firmly as a piece of cultural . - - history and it takes as its evidence the writings of the church fathers, complemented by antique Christian art. It has sought to show that Christianity made a considerable difference to the lives of children just as children made a difference to the practice of Christianity. The thesis takes the following form, after an introduction which deals with the study's relationship to the history of childhood and to Christianity. In Chapter 1 � "Child and Adult", this chapter deals with the new relationship which was fashioned between children and adults in the light of the gospel injunctions to be 'as a child'. In Chapter 2 "Memory and History", I proceeded to consider the various ways in which antique Christians were offered the possibility of getting their own childhoods back again. In Chapter 3, "Birth and Death I dealt with antique responses to the birth and frequent death of children and how Christianity endowed ' both with a new meanings. I then in Chapter 4, "Innocence and Sin" considered antique Christianity's interest in the spiritual state of the child and whether the child was a symbol of innocence and sin. I related his to assertions and pra~ti~es of a ' general kind as well as specifically theological debtaes concerning the child's state of grace and its need for baptism. In Chapter .5 "Folly and Wisdom", I looked at Christian conceptions of pedagogy and the ways in which children had something to teach adults. In Chapter 6, "Love and Violence", I studied the ways in which Christianity in both art and text forged a 'theatre of suffering' as a means of articulating some of the darker emotions in children's relationship with adults. In Chapter 7, "Humility and Power" I examnined various ways in which children were perceived to be empowered , culminating in the the Christ-Child. I have argued that part of the Christ-Child's power over the minds of Christians lay in his status as a 'real' child. Finally, in my conclusion, I reiterated my point about Christianity's location of the children at the centre of its practice and how, as a consequence, relations between children and adults took on a new, sacralized dimension.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11576